By Denise Gary
Image © Kids Need to Read
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Kids Need to Read received a moving letter and gift in the mail this week from teacher Christine Capozzola of East Quogue Elementary School in New York:

Please accept this donation from the Special Education class of East Quogue Elementary School in memory of Dylan Hockley.  Our class raised money last April selling autism puzzle pieces.  We put the money into an account to decide how we would like to donate it.  After the Sandy Hook tragedy, we decided to use the money in memory of the two students with autism.  We would like to thank you for all that you do to promote positive school environments.

Included with the letter was a donation of $140 to be used toward Kids Need to Read Peace Packs, a special book collection designed to help children and adolescents cope with bullying, learn peaceful conflict resolution techniques, and develop effective leadership skills. Through the compelling messages of peace and unity presented in these books, as well as through focused presentations and projects offered in the Kids-N-Peace program, Kids Need to Read aspires to provide nonviolent alternatives to as many schools and literacy programs as possible. We congratulate the special education students of East Quogue Elementary School on their remarkable fundraising and for taking a positive step to help others. Their contribution will provide one complete Peace Pack and will help Kids Need to Read continue to do its part in building a peaceful future for all children.

This donation honors the memory of Dylan Hockley, one of the young victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. We join Ms. Capozzola and her students in offering our deepest sympathies and respect to Dylan, his family, and the families of the other victims of this unspeakable tragedy. We encourage everyone to honor the memories of the fallen by taking positive, proactive actions to change the culture of violence that exists in our nation today.

Every heartfelt act of kindness, no matter how simple or small, contributes to the construction of a peaceful future—the future we all visualize. The foundation of this future has already been laid by the hard-won knowledge of the past. It simply awaits our immediate action to guide the vision into the present.

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